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Buying British

 
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Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 15710

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 24 7:42 am    Post subject: Buying British Reply with quote
    

Not meant to be racist in any way, and I know now is an awkward time for vegetables from the UK, but I had awful trouble getting carrots from anywhere sensible this week.

I like to use the local shops, particularly the greengrocer since the farm shop I used to use closed, but this week, all they had were some rather sad looking small ones with tops (may have been British but don't buy them) or some from China. The Chinese ones looked lovely; long, plump and straight and glossy as if still damp from cool storage. I queried where they came from and was assured they were Chinese, so I passed. Went to another shop; theirs were Israeli. Went to another shop and finally found some British ones. Otherwise I would have had to pick some up from a supermarket and check where they came from very carefully.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 45503
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 24 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

This is a result of many different factors, a lot of European suppliers now sell to markets other than the UK due to Brexit

Airfreight is subsidised so it's economically worth sending asparagus or peas or whatever by air around the globe

UK consumers don't understand seasonality or sustainability

UK customers want shiny pretty things all the time, when we used to do Christmas dinner at my mother in laws she ALWAYS had crap tasteless strawberries as the available fresh fruit, cos they look nice on the table

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45784
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 24 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

umm, cui bono

basics like food, water, medicine etc are the lowest attainable goals of a functional society

trade excesses of produce, but make certain there is enough locally rather than rely on trade to do local needs

Nicky cigreen



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 9740
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 24 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

carrots are not really in season in uk, this is the hardest end of the year to get UK grown ones.

I get my veg from a box scheme - riverford. Carrots are coming from Italy at the moment - which is better from a food miles pov than China.

Mostly I try not to eat out of season veg - so we dont have many carrots at this time of year. It is particularly tough during the 'hungry gap' though, so do buy European a bit. It's not air freighted.
Sometimes, from an emissions pov, uk grown is not better - if say we use heated GH here and only transport from Southern Europe. It depends what your purpose of buying British is about.

I think a box scheme is a particularly good way to go for people to understand what is seasonal etc.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 45503
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 24 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Nicky cigreen wrote:
Sometimes, from an emissions pov, uk grown is not better - if say we use heated GH here and only transport from Southern Europe. It depends what your purpose of buying British is about.


True

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45784
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 24 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

our chums in the market have a mix of their smallholding grown

top quality, seasonal and often rare breeds varieties + good stuff from a few other localish growers + things from the international wholesale market which are usually better quality than most

imho some things have such a short season and short shelf life that frozen or otherwise preserved is better than overpriced poor quality out of season things

enjoy fresh in season, preserved or anticipation is better than low quality OOS

for instance, i do not bother making chips unless i have top quality, appropriate variety, preferably large and dirty, spuds
that makes for several shortish chip seasons throughout the year as different types are available by season
perfect as chips are usually not a disappointment, unlike OOS wrong spud chips which some will accept so long as there are some sort of chips available
re fresh vs preserved, frozen chips are just wrong, the wrong potato is pointless, best to go seasonal and right even if that limits chip availability windows

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 15710

PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 24 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I do try to buy seasonal if I can, but some things are rather staples. I know at the moment veg are not easy and either have to go without or buy imported. I don't want to use a box scheme as they provide things that I know my husband won't eat, and I might not like, so a lot would be wasted. At present my garden is in the hungry gap and I was very late putting things in because of weather, work and not feeling up to it.

One problem I am having is that the place I used to buy my fruit and veg has shut and without travelling a long way in another direction I can't get to a reasonable farm shop. I do know of one, but would be a journey of about 10 miles each way just to get to it.

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